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Applied Synergistics International

8100 East Camelback Road

Suite 43

Scottsdale, Arizona 85251

(480) 607-6850


Becoming more customer/client-driven, improving quality, managing change and continuing to grow successfully requires vision and planning as well as a clear understanding of organization and personal values.

Strategic planning is about where your organization is going over the next year or more, how it's going to get there and how you know when its arrived. Of all the value-added services we offer, helping an organization plan its strategy often tops the list. Why? Because strategic planning is an essential ingredient to sustainable success. By implementing a strategic planning process, a documented strategic plan is created. That plan is used to communicate direction throughout your organization and manage progress over time.

Organizations many times already know much of what will go into a strategic plan. However, development of the strategic plan helps to clarify the organization's plans and ensure that leaders, middle managers and front line employees are all "on the same page." Far more important than the strategic plan document, is the strategic planning process itself.

How does a strategic plan differ from a business plan? The focus of a strategic plan is on the entire organization, while the focus of a business plan is frequently on a particular product, service or program.

We provide you with strategies to define and communicate the results your organization seeks, identify the skills and behaviors that achieve this end and implement actions supportive of your direction. We help you put an overall plan in place to become a higher performing organization.



» We work with you to design a strategic planning process that is right for you; that builds on what you already have in place and produces a working document that is used throughout your organization to help set priorities and make daily decisions. See TYPES OF STRATEGIC PLANNING for more detail.

» We facilitate the Strategic Planning Process, focusing on developing and evaluating alternative strategies as well as plan development. See SUCCESS FACTORS for more detail

» We provide facilitated planning sessions for the purpose of assisting management in the creation of Vision, Mission and Value statements. We work with you to define an organizational culture consistent with achieving your strategic goals.

» We provide workshops to help managers and employees throughout the entire organization embrace the organization's strategic direction through specific actions.

Strategic Planning Workshop Example
Most of our workshops are customized to meet your specific requirements. The following is an example of a workshop we did for another organization:

» Strategic Planning for Success


There are a variety of approaches used in strategic planning. Our objective is to select the approach that is right for you. The selection criteria includes the organization's leadership style, culture of the organization, complexity of the environment, size of the organization, expertise and more. The most common planning models are goals-based, issues-based and scenario planning.

Goals-based planning is the most common and starts with focus on the organization's mission, vision and values, goals to work toward the mission, strategies to achieve the goals and action planning of who will do what and by when.

Issues-based strategic planning often starts by examining issues facing the organization, strategies to address those issues and action plans.

Scenario planning makes the assumption that a specific event will occur and identifies the courses of action that would be required by the organization to achieve its objectives.

Frequently an organization will perform a SWOT analysis as part of the planning process. As strategy is developed it is helpful to understand the organizations internal Strengths and Weaknesses as well as the external Opportunities and Threats.

Some plans are scoped to one year, many to three years and some go five to ten years into the future. Some plans include only top-level information and no action plans. Some plans are five to eight pages long, while others are considerably longer.

In designing planning activities, it is important to be aware of how strategic planning relates to development of business strategy. The most successful organizations engage in formal planning, not to create strategies, but to operationalize the strategies they already have in place. First, the business strategies are developed and prioritized by management. This requires clarity about the Organization’s mission, vision, values, as well as a good understanding of external opportunities & threats and internal strengths & weaknesses. Secondly, a strategic plan is developed to elaborate on and implement business strategies that have already been selected by top management.



In the final analysis, some strategic plans become key documents in helping an organization achieve its goals; other plans fall short of expectations. Some strategic plans are used by management to guide them in day-to-day decisions; other plans are put on a shelf and quickly forgotten. Experience shows that the following items relate directly to the long-term success of the strategic planning activity, as well as the overall satisfaction level.

The organizations that tend to be more successful with strategic planning:

» Have clear vision, mission and value statements in place and these statements are understood throughout the organization at all levels.

» View the planning process as separate from the strategy process. Both compliment each other and are ongoing.

» Have integrated the planning process and the strategy process into the management process. Strategic planning is not a once-in-awhile, one-time event.

» Have top management who spends sufficient time in the development and selection of strategies and translating strategies into action.

» Involve key personnel in the planning process.

» Use the resulting plans for performance measurement and accountability.

» Use a planning process that is not overly structured and that is appropriate to their organization.

Realistically, few organizations have all of the above in place. To the extent that you can make progress in the above areas, you will be setting yourself up for success. Often pre-planning activities can greatly impact the above areas. We can help you with these.



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